As well as my online home here at WordPress I also regularly add pithy, witty, insightful comments on Gizmodo UK. Well, when I have time and can think of something witty and insightful before someone else beats me to it. I remember well the day when I got the email that told me I’d earned enough love and respect of my fellow commenters to get a gold star and the awesome responsibility to reward others and uphold the standards of good commenting that comes with it.
The comments sections of many blogs like Giz UK have a warm community feel to them, many are more, ahem, hostile but generally people are open and honest with their opinions. The thing is though that you never know who else is reading the comments.
Imagine you’re in the pub with your friends discussing last nights match/Eastenders/curry/pint/copy of GQ when a man in a suit with a clipboard sits next to you and starts making notes, then politely corrects you on a couple of issues he has with your opinions.
Well, this is what some companies are already doing – dedicated staff trawl the internet for any mention of their products in comments and articles, ready to possibly intervene if a discussion starts to become negative.
It’s all part of the market research of course but it can, sometimes, make you wonder who’s looking over your virtual shoulder.